When last I blogged, I didn’t really think I would have a lot to post this month, as February wasn’t very productive for me sewing-wise, and I wasn’t sure how much I’d get done this month either. However, I was able to get a dress made in time to attend a friend’s wedding this past weekend, and even though it was a quick one-week project, I’m really happy with the result!
Although I had originally planned to sew a much more complex dress with a more fitted bodice that required more tailoring and other sewing skills, in the end time constraints dictated the necessity for a different plan. Burda 6941 has been on my to-sew list forever, and it seemed like an easy design so I dug fabric out of my stash and went for it!
I don’t have my typical front/back photos for everyone, but I did get several on-site “action” shots:
This is a really simple pattern, but there are a few nice details, such as the waist gathering, appliqué embellishment, and cut-on sleeve details:
Pattern Description: Jersey dresses in two lengths with deep V-neck and gathered skirt and bodice. Version A is full length with a slit skirt and full length sleeves. Version B is embellished with a beaded adornment and small lace sleeves. I used the full-length skirt from View A but the short sleeves and embellishment idea from View B for my version of this dress.
Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 36-48 (US sizes 10-22). I used a size 40 at the shoulder and graded out to a 48 at the hip. I also did several adjustments for fit, likely resulting in several dimensions being larger than the envelope sizes, detailed below.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, the instructions were really straightforward! I think the Burda envelope patterns actually have really good instructions and especially good illustrations.
Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it? Yes, I think so! The overall silhouette was very similar, though I do think my pattern adjustments may have been a bit overzealous in the length of the front bodice.
What did you particularly like/dislike about the pattern? I love the fit of the shoulders and lace sleeves; it is the perfect amount of coverage for a cut-on sleeve without being restrictive in motion. I also really love how easily this pattern goes together. I will warn that it does require the use of a sewing machine to construct. Despite being for knits, it’s not the type of design that you can sew only with a serger and coverstitch (though I did use both to aid in seam finishing and hemming). However, it is really simple to put together as long as your sewing machine works well with your fabric choice (mine did). I also really love that the elastic for the waistband doesn’t go completely around the body – it stops just short of the front bodice gathers, which both makes the gathers more soft AND allows extra comfortable tummy room for a night of partying and eating. My only dislikes are that the weight of the full length skirt seems to pull down the bodice front a bit and that the v-neck is really low as drafted.
Fabric used: I used an ITY knit from deep stash. I think I bought it from Fabric Mart back in 2013-ish? It was a really nice weight, and it pressed really well for a knit. At first I was debating between a print and a solid, but in the end I was super happy that I decided to use this bold lace print. I also used a pleated chiffon trim that I bought from Jo-Ann fabrics to complete the sleeves, and a sequin appliqué that was a leftover in the stash for the bodice embellishment detail.
Pattern alterations or design changes you made: I added 2 inches of length to the bodice top along the lengthening line and then also did a 1 inch FBA to the bodice front. I also measured the pattern against my hip measurements and added a few inches over the full hip area, probably grading out to about a size 52-ish in Burda measurements. I also raised the center front seam for the neckline about 2 inches because I thought it was too low as drafted. For the future I will take off 1” of length from the front bodice (the additional length combined with the FBA resulted in too much length in the front) and I might raise the v-neckline by at least another inch (or two).
Would you sew this again? Would you recommend it to others? I will absolutely sew this again! I would love to make another version in the shorter style, and perhaps a less formal maxi version as well. I ended up really loving the comfort of this dress, so I would be happy to have a lot of versions in my closet. I would definitely recommend this pattern to others, though I would also caution that the neckline is very low. Otherwise this is a wonderfully drafted pattern with really straightforward instructions and is highly recommended.
Conclusion: I love it! I wore this dress to a wedding and it was super comfortable and I felt really elegant (double win!). Apparently green is the trending color for 2022 – a lot of the guests were wearing green, though none in a bold lace print, and I’m sure their dresses were much less comfortable than mine. One of the waitresses even commented on the dress, so that was really nice. Plus, it also packs like a dream because it’s an ITY knit, which makes it super easy to look put together with minimal effort. I only wish the front waistline was slightly higher (I think I made the front bodice slightly too long with my adjustments and then the weight of the full skirt is dragging it down a bit), but otherwise I really love how quickly this dress came together and how well it turned out.
Is this garment a “Triumph of Individual Style”? I actually think that it is! I have been holding onto this fabric for a long time because I really wanted to use it for something special, and I’m glad I used it for this dress! I’m so happy with the style and color, and I really think it is a dress that checks a lot of boxes. It’s no-fuss, comfortable, easy to wear, elegant, and colorful. In terms of Kibbe recommendations, it has soft gathers and slight waist emphasis for the Soft Natural recommendations, and in terms of coloring it has a more saturated “power color” vibe that make a strong statement. Overall I am so happy with how it turned out and I hope to have a reason to wear it again soon.